98% of those that don’t trust Facebook with their data still use it

It’s time for a step change in how users share, and are rewarded for, their information.

Laurie Roxby
Apr 24, 2018 · 3 min read

Since the Cambridge Analytica files were revealed, Facebook has been under fire for how it uses the personal data of its 2.2 billion active users. But we wanted to know: what do our bees think?

In the US and India — Facebook’s two biggest markets — 1 in 3 don’t trust the social network to keep their data safe. In the UK, where the story was revealed, that figure rises to 3 in 5. So with Facebook user figures already declining, does this spell the beginning of the end?

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Rumours of Facebook’s demise have been greatly exaggerated

According to our community, there is still life in the platform yet. A staggering 98% of people who said they didn’t trust Facebook with their data still use it — showing that, while people say they care that their information is secure, it’s not the make-or-break issue that the #DeleteFacebook campaign would suggest.

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Those who answered ‘no’ to the question “Do you trust Facebook with your personal data?”

Of people who have recently stopped using a social media platform, 51% say it was due to boredom; just 8% stopped due to data concerns.

For Facebook, its defining challenge in the coming years will be user retention, rather than security — particularly among younger users, with just 1 in 5 under-25s considering it the coolest social media platform.

“I was getting tired of Facebook — it never seemed to update with any new features,” one respondent said when asked why they’d made the switch. “I kept seeing my friends posting pictures from Snapchat, all with new picture filters, so I started using that instead.”

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One way to avoid a data privacy scandal? Transparency.

Facebook says it is “investigating other applications that have had access to large amounts of user data” — which will hopefully provide a platform for the whole process of data collection to change.

At Streetbees, we believe the perfect solution lies in unlocking the best of both worlds: maintain privacy for users, while still enabling them full access to services — and there are three basic principles in achieving this.

One is paying people fairly for their information. With data the world’s most valuable resource, reimbursing people for the details they share would ensure a greater trust between platform and user.

This feeds into the second principle: transparency. People should choose how much, or as little, they want to share — and companies should be clear on their intentions from the start.

Finally, and most importantly, intelligence and advertising don’t mix. Data should be shared on an aggregate level, to give insights into whole groups of people — never individuals.

Ultimately, mixing the two dilutes your existence as an intelligence data company, and the insights you are able to unlock are compromised.


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A quick word on our methodology: The figures in the article are taken from Streetbees community members in the UK, US and India, carried out in April 2018. All of the data was collected by mobile and web surveys, and is accurate to within 3 percentage points 19 times out of 20.

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